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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:22 am 
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judge56988 wrote:
Whether or not Fayd is right about how Americans feel about the rest of the world, I am of the opinion that the majority of people in the UK and perhaps Europe share his view.
Be it stereotyping by the media or peoples personal experience, many Europeans see the average American as an insular person with virtually no knowledge of the outside world, little desire to travel beyond America and having zero interest in world affairs other than issues that directly effect the price of gasoline and hamburgers.
When Americas interests are threatened they are seen to behave as the world's bully with scant regard for world opinion.

Yes, you are correct, that is stereotyping, and equally bad as the worst kind of racism, not to mention that none of things is true.

judge56988 wrote:
If the US had real principals with respect to democracy and liberty they would not trade with China - sadly the greed for cheap goods is too great.
Similarly, the US has never had any qualms about supporting some of the worlds nastiest regimes if it suited their purposes.

Again, you confusing principle (not principal) with tolerance. Despite the claims of Fayd and yourself, Americans are generally more tolerant of others, since they have much more diversity within their own country (both in terms of people and of the laws of the 50 states). On the other hand, Europeans have a rather sordid history of economic accommodation and complicity with Nazi's, terrorists, and recent genocide in Sudan (see my post about the Swedish oil company in Sudan, or just google it).

Is there some country that has a benevolent foreign policy that is not concerned with their own national interests above all others? If so, please let me know which one, and provide examples please.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:55 am 
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I believe the problem with the US is that it acts like a spoiled child on some things :
- lots of money : one of the biggest economies on earth. Not a bad thing but spending it wisely would be a plus, like on clean energy rather than on military spendings for example. Everyone knows that if there is a real war one day between developped countries, we're all dead no matter how cool the technology is. I highly recommend the movie : "Let's make money", even if, like "south of the border", you need to be aware of what you're watching before you do.
- big toys without parent supervision : army, wall street...
- never listening to sound advice from experienced people : listen to the european who screwed up most of their colonies when they tell you that if you throw the army in a wrecked country, you need a plan to get out and to help the people first, before shooting the hell out of them and then thinking it through.
- using words it doesn't understand (in the media) : socialism...
- ignoring others : see previous posts in this thread about this, especially judge56988's post. Maybe it is not the reality of the behaviour, but that's how a lot of people in the world percieve the US.

The US has a great history : from giving the finger to the british (I'm french, I had to say it was a great thing :)) to inventing the electric bulb. It has the ability to have a great future. But patience, the ability to think things over before acting, and modesty, are things I think the US still has to (re-)learn I believe.

Back on topic :
I'm going to try seeing this movie so I can make up my own mind about it. I just think you can see anything you want at the movies as long as you know what you're watching. What if the Starwars series had been called a documentary ? Would it have been such a blockbuster ? What if it had been called a biography ?
So no matter what segment the movie you're seeing is in, always keep in mind who made it, what the history of the movie is and in what context it was made.

[EDIT :
Quote:
Americans are generally more tolerant of others, since they have much more diversity within their own country (both in terms of people and of the laws of the 50 states).

Oh please... :roll: recent examples ?]

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:04 am 
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m0002a wrote:
judge56988 wrote:
Whether or not Fayd is right about how Americans feel about the rest of the world, I am of the opinion that the majority of people in the UK and perhaps Europe share his view.
Be it stereotyping by the media or peoples personal experience, many Europeans see the average American as an insular person with virtually no knowledge of the outside world, little desire to travel beyond America and having zero interest in world affairs other than issues that directly effect the price of gasoline and hamburgers.
When Americas interests are threatened they are seen to behave as the world's bully with scant regard for world opinion.

Yes, you are correct, that is stereotyping, and equally bad as the worst kind of racism, not to mention that none of things is true.

It must be true of a certain number of Americans just as it would be true for a certain number of Brits or other nationality.

m0002a wrote:
judge56988 wrote:
If the US had real principals with respect to democracy and liberty they would not trade with China - sadly the greed for cheap goods is too great.
Similarly, the US has never had any qualms about supporting some of the worlds nastiest regimes if it suited their purposes.

Again, you confusing principle (not principal) with tolerance. Despite the claims of Fayd and yourself, Americans are generally more tolerant of others, since they have much more diversity within their own country (both in terms of people and of the laws of the 50 states). On the other hand, Europeans have a rather sordid history of economic accommodation and complicity with Nazi's, terrorists, and recent genocide in Sudan (see my post about the Swedish oil company in Sudan, or just google it).

Is there some country that has a benevolent foreign policy that is not concerned with their own national interests above all others? If so, please let me know which one, and provide examples please.

How can America be so two faced as to denounce Iran, North Korea and Syria whilst at the same time cosying up to Saudi Arabia and China?
The answer is that Saudi provides a large proportion of America's oil and China is a principal (not principle) trading partner. Not to mention that getting involved in a war with China may not be the walk in the park that the war with Iraq was. That's not to say that I think the two countries will never go to war.
The human rights record of both Saudi and China is abysmal and Saudi has a much stricter Islamic regime than does Iran. I've been there - twice - and seen what an obnoxious place it is.
As I've said before, the US seems to be intent on trying to kid the rest of the world that their intervention/interference in the affairs of other countries is benevolent - when will you realise that the rest of the world sees right through the pretence even though the majority of Americans may swallow the Whitehouse spin?

Regarding your comment on Europeans complicity with Nazis and terrorists, I hope you are not including Britain amongst those Europeans. Britain stood alone against Hitler after the fall of France, until Hitler foolishly turned on the Russians. The belated arrival of the Yanks in Europe came about when Roosevelt finally realised that America might soon stand alone against a completely fascist world if the Axis powers prevailed. Once again an example of Americas self interest. Up until that point of course America had contented herself with making a fortune from Britain and Russia from the sale of arms - a debt that took some 30 years for Britain to repay.

Britain was later to fight a war against terrorism in Northern Ireland, a war on British sovereign territory by the way; where much of the funding and many of the weapons were obtained by the IRA from... America. No matter what your views on the Irish situation, the fact remains that the IRA were blowing up civilians both in N Ireland and on mainland Britain over a number of years.

There is nothing wrong with America putting her own interests first - just be honest about it and accept the fact that the rest of the world don't like it because you are able to throw your weight around. That might not last for ever though.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 10:10 am 
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judge56988 wrote:
It must be true of a certain number of Americans just as it would be true for a certain number of Brits or other nationality.

Americans come from many different backgrounds and from many different countries, so you can say just about anything that applies to some of them. But I don't think that is what you meant.

judge56988 wrote:
How can America be so two faced as to denounce Iran, North Korea and Syria whilst at the same time cosying up to Saudi Arabia and China?
The answer is that Saudi provides a large proportion of America's oil and China is a principal (not principle) trading partner. Not to mention that getting involved in a war with China may not be the walk in the park that the war with Iraq was. That's not to say that I think the two countries will never go to war.
The human rights record of both Saudi and China is abysmal and Saudi has a much stricter Islamic regime than does Iran. I've been there - twice - and seen what an obnoxious place it is.
As I've said before, the US seems to be intent on trying to kid the rest of the world that their intervention/interference in the affairs of other countries is benevolent - when will you realise that the rest of the world sees right through the pretence even though the majority of Americans may swallow the Whitehouse spin?

Quite simple actually. The USA has frequently criticized Saudi Arabia and China regarding their human rights policy. But since neither of these 2 countries is actively engaged in trying to conquer other countries, or export terrorism (apart from some individuals who live in those countries), then the USA will normally follow a policy of constructive engagement. When two countries are able to agree on mutual concerns and have economic ties beneficial to both countries, then that usually is the best way to impart cultural influences on the other country, which in these cases almost always leads to more freedom and more democracy and less aggression to other countries.

In cases where China has threatened Taiwan, the USA has been virtually alone in guaranteeing the defense of Taiwan, even when we receive strong criticism from the PRC.

In most cases, the US tries to be friendly with whomever is running another government at the time, without meddling in that country's internal affairs. Whenever America does raise objections or try to do anything to correct inequities, it is accused of intervention. So you can't have it both ways, accuse the US of acquiescence and intervention at the same time (even though that is exactly what many people try to claim the US does).

judge56988 wrote:
Regarding your comment on Europeans complicity with Nazis and terrorists, I hope you are not including Britain amongst those Europeans. Britain stood alone against Hitler after the fall of France, until Hitler foolishly turned on the Russians. The belated arrival of the Yanks in Europe came about when Roosevelt finally realised that America might soon stand alone against a completely fascist world if the Axis powers prevailed. Once again an example of Americas self interest. Up until that point of course America had contented herself with making a fortune from Britain and Russia from the sale of arms - a debt that took some 30 years for Britain to repay.

Belated arrival? 30 years to repay a debt? Maybe none of that would have been necessary (including the loss of several hundred thousands American lives in the European theatre) if Britain had not elected Nevil Chamberlain as its PM. BTW, there are still active debates going on as to whether the US should have intervened in Europe, and your claim that it was all because of American self-interest is not universally accepted.

I am very sorry that Britain took so long to pay off its WWII debts. The USA has not paid it debts off yet from WWII (we just keep refinancing the bonds). As to Americans making a fortune off the British and Russians, are you referring to private companies or the US government? I don't think that the US government made any profit.

judge56988 wrote:
Britain was later to fight a war against terrorism in Northern Ireland, a war on British sovereign territory by the way; where much of the funding and many of the weapons were obtained by the IRA from... America. No matter what your views on the Irish situation, the fact remains that the IRA were blowing up civilians both in N Ireland and on mainland Britain over a number of years.

When you say America, I think you mean individual Americans and not the US government. There are many Irish Americans in the US, and I presume that some gave money to Irish charities even when they did not realize they were fronts for terrorist organizations. Some Americans wonder WTF Britain is doing in Ireland to begin with, but I guess we all have to pay for past sins, as the US has had to pay in many cases also for its past sins. Maybe the slogan "the sun never sets on the British empire" is not necessarily something to be proud of.

judge56988 wrote:
There is nothing wrong with America putting her own interests first - just be honest about it and accept the fact that the rest of the world don't like it because you are able to throw your weight around. That might not last for ever though.

How kind of you to say there is nothing wrong with American foreign policy being guided by self-interest. Implicit in your remark is the subtle suggestion that only American policy is guided by self-interest and everyone else (or anyone else) is guided by charity and compassion (which is sheer bunk and you know it).


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 10:29 am 
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frenchie wrote:
I believe the problem with the US is that it acts like a spoiled child on some things :
- lots of money : one of the biggest economies on earth. Not a bad thing but spending it wisely would be a plus, like on clean energy rather than on military spendings for example. Everyone knows that if there is a real war one day between developped countries, we're all dead no matter how cool the technology is. I highly recommend the movie : "Let's make money", even if, like "south of the border", you need to be aware of what you're watching before you do.
- big toys without parent supervision : army, wall street...
- never listening to sound advice from experienced people : listen to the european who screwed up most of their colonies when they tell you that if you throw the army in a wrecked country, you need a plan to get out and to help the people first, before shooting the hell out of them and then thinking it through.
- using words it doesn't understand (in the media) : socialism...
- ignoring others : see previous posts in this thread about this, especially judge56988's post. Maybe it is not the reality of the behaviour, but that's how a lot of people in the world percieve the US.

The US has a great history : from giving the finger to the british (I'm french, I had to say it was a great thing :)) to inventing the electric bulb. It has the ability to have a great future. But patience, the ability to think things over before acting, and modesty, are things I think the US still has to (re-)learn I believe.

How nice of you to offer us our valuable advice. However, I hope you don't mind if we decline, since France is largely responsible for the mess in the Middle East, the 150 years of colonialism and wars in Indo-China, and punishing Germany so badly after WWI that Hitler was able to come to power and nearly destroy the world in WWII.

Of course, France, being so smart and wise, knew that instead of fighting the Germans themselves, it is far better to get someone else to do it for you, so French lives and cities will be spared. Yes those French are very smart, but don't expect to ever be able to fool the Americans again. Never.

frenchie wrote:
[EDIT : oh please... :roll: recent examples ?]

I already gave examples, where we tolerate (except for the left) that different people in different states and cities can have different moral codes and different laws that accept those moral codes. This is fundamental to the constitution, structure, and laws of the US Republic, and not just some rhetoric.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 10:52 am 
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m0002a wrote:


When you say America, I think you mean individual Americans and not the US government. There are many Irish Americans in the US, and I presume that some gave money to Irish charities even when they did not realize they were fronts for terrorist organizations. Some Americans wonder WTF Britain is doing in Ireland to begin with, but I guess we all have to pay for past sins, as the US has had to pay in many cases also for its past sins. Maybe the slogan "the sun never sets on the British empire" is not necessarily something to be proud of.


From individual Americans would have been more explicit; the British government asked the American government to put a stop to it but for some reason they couldn't...
The whole of Ireland became part of the Union in 1801, Eire seceded from the Union in 1922. The majority of the people in Northern Ireland want to remain part of the UK as they have been for several hundred years. How much land have the "Americans" taken from the indigenous population since 1801? Past sins indeed.
And as you surely know, the sun set on the British Empire long ago, the US would not allow it to continue after the war finished. The world had changed anyway. All empires crumble eventually.

m0002a wrote:
judge56988 wrote:
There is nothing wrong with America putting her own interests first - just be honest about it and accept the fact that the rest of the world don't like it because you are able to throw your weight around. That might not last for ever though.

How kind of you to say there is nothing wrong with American foreign policy being guided by self-interest. Implicit in your remark is the subtle suggestion that only American policy is guided by self-interest and everyone else (or anyone else) is guided by charity and compassion (which is sheer bunk and you know it).


Actually, no. That is far from what I was suggesting. Take it as meaning what it says. I will add that I see nothing wrong with any country acting in their own self interest, I believe all countries do in various ways according to their means. Many smaller countries suck up to America because they think they will get looked after, Britain with the "Special Relationship" amongst them. Europe desperately wants to unite and become a rival power to America but there's little chance of unity in a continent whose countries have spent the last 1000 years fighting amongst themselves.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 10:58 am 
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m0002a wrote:
How nice of you to offer us our valuable advice. However, I hope you don't mind if we decline, since France is largely responsible for the mess in the Middle East, the 150 years of colonialism and wars in Indo-China, and punishing Germany so badly after WWI that Hitler was able to come to power and nearly destroy the world in WWII.

This is my point and I totally agree with you !!! I guess I didn't phrase what I wanted to say the right way. France made a LOT of mistakes, mistakes other countries should have learned from, mistakes France should have learned from. But I guess diplomacy doesn't work that way, you have to see for yourself rather than try not to repeat history.

m0002a wrote:
Of course, France, being so smart and wise, knew that instead of fighting the Germans themselves, it is far better to get someone else to do it for your, so French lives and cities will be spared.

Please don't be so agressive, it's pointless and OT [I will not elaborate on this quote]

m0002a wrote:
Yes those French are very smart, but don't expect to ever be able to fool the Americans again. Never.

Nobody fooled anybody. France did loose a battle in WWII, that is a fact. Other countries came to help and we are very grateful they did. Now the war is over and we're moving on.
You owed us one anyways ;) Sorry, I couldn't resist :)

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 11:42 am 
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judge56988 wrote:
From individual Americans would have been more explicit; the British government asked the American government to put a stop to it but for some reason they couldn't...

To be honest, I never heard much about terrorism being funded by Irish charities in the US. Maybe Britain should have purchased some TV ads to explain this to Americans. Not sure if Britain tried to persuade the American media about it, since it was not publicized in the US.

judge56988 wrote:
The whole of Ireland became part of the Union in 1801, Eire seceded from the Union in 1922. The majority of the people in Northern Ireland want to remain part of the UK as they have been for several hundred years. How much land have the "Americans" taken from the indigenous population since 1801? Past sins indeed.
And as you surely know, the sun set on the British Empire long ago, the US would not allow it to continue after the war finished. The world had changed anyway. All empires crumble eventually.

Unfortunately, most of today's international problems are caused by actions that occurred many years ago. But America seems to be held responsible for the problems in the Middle East, when they are largely the fallout of European colonialism (France, Britain, and German mostly).

As just one example, Iraq should really be 3 different countries (Shites, Suni, Kurds) but the British created an artificial nation that has wrecked havoc on world.

[i]Ottoman rule over Iraq lasted until World War I when the Ottomans sided with Germany and the Central Powers. In the Mesopotamian campaign against the Central Powers, British forces invaded the country and suffered a major defeat at the hands of the Turkish army during the Siege of Kut (1915–16). After the war the Ottoman Empire was divided up, and the British Mandate of Mesopotamia was established by League of Nations mandate. Britain imposed a HÄ


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:08 pm 
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m0002a wrote:
When you say rival power, do you mean military power, or economic power? One does not have to be large to be an economic power, unless one is planning things like tariffs and import duties and other protectionist and anti-competitive activities.

I don't really understand all this "rival power" talk. It would probably be cheaper if you guys just saw a shrink about your feelings of inadequacy and forgot about the whole idea, and just went back to kicking that black and white ball around in the grass until someone tells you it is time to go home.


It's politicians talking - me and most people I know just want a quiet life.
The rival power thing is mostly from the French and Germans - that's how I see it anyway - they want a voice in world politics again. If the EU were a match for the US economically and militarily, they could justifiably act as a check on America's aspirations.
I think that the French are pissed off that they lost out in the Middle East - they had many economic links with Saddam in particular.
Most Brits, not the lefties, seem quite happy to be sidekick to the US which suits the US because they are not acting unilaterally if the Brits are with them. And of course, British soldiers actually aim at the enemy...
In the end it's all about making money really.

As for that black and white ball - it's the wrong shape for me. Rugby (the game you guys turned into "football") is where the action is.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:55 pm 
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judge56988 wrote:
The rival power thing is mostly from the French and Germans - that's how I see it anyway - they want a voice in world politics again. If the EU were a match for the US economically and militarily, they could justifiably act as a check on America's aspirations.
I think that the French are pissed off that they lost out in the Middle East - they had many economic links with Saddam in particular.

They also are the two main powers in Euro Europe. But I agree with what you are saying. Especially now that the french have their run-all-over-the-place-fixing-problems-I-dont-understand-cuz-it-makes-me-look-cool president.

judge56988 wrote:
As for that black and white ball - it's the wrong shape for me. Rugby (the game you guys turned into "football") is where the action is.

And it's the only real sport too.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:27 pm 
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judge56988 wrote:
If the EU were a match for the US economically and militarily, they could justifiably act as a check on America's aspirations.

America does not have any "aspirations". But when terrorists declare war on your country, kill 3,000 citizens in you largest city, and knock down your 2 tallest buildings, etc, then one cannot just sit at home anymore hoping that it will not happen again.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:57 pm 
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m0002a wrote:
judge56988 wrote:
If the EU were a match for the US economically and militarily, they could justifiably act as a check on America's aspirations.

America does not have any "aspirations". But when terrorists declare war on your country, kill 3,000 citizens in you largest city, and knock down your 2 tallest buildings, etc, then one cannot just sit at home anymore hoping that it will not happen again.

That's very true but why exactly do you think the terrorists did what they did?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 2:12 pm 
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m0002a wrote:
America does not have any "aspirations". But when terrorists declare war on your country, kill 3,000 citizens in you largest city, and knock down your 2 tallest buildings, etc, then one cannot just sit at home anymore hoping that it will not happen again.

If reducing terrorism was a real goal, then the US would have acted very differently. What's currently being done is actually increasing the terror risk. Everyone knows that, including the US intelligence.

What should have been done? And what should be done now? Difficult questions, but believing still that you are actually working on reducing the terror threat to the US is not helping.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:00 pm 
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judge56988 wrote:
That's very true but why exactly do you think the terrorists did what they did?

There were two groups involved. One is Osama bin Laden who organized the attacks (along with his cronies), and then there were the perpetrators from Egypt and Saudi Arabia who carried it out.

Osama bin Laden was at one time a close friend of the US as result of America providing Afghanistan support against the Russian invasion in the 1980s. But in 1991, when the coalition forces (led by the US) ejected Iraq from Kuwait, bin Laden was developing anxiety attacks about Western infidels being on Arab soil. After the war, Saudi Arabia asked the US stay on Saudi soil with some air force bases in the desert to protect Saudi Arabia from possible attack by Iraq. By that time, bin Laden was extremely upset that the US military was remaining on Saudi soil. He protested so much, that the Saudi government permanently kicked him out of Saudi Arabia and revoked his passport. After that time, Osama bin Laden then was involved in various plots to attack the US military in some Mideast locations such as the attack on the USS Cole.

In 1998, Bill Clinton was involved in a sexual harassment lawsuit against him (he had multiple sexual relationships with women who worked under him as both Governor of Arkansas and as President). On the day that Clinton was forced to give a legal deposition under oath in the Paula Jones lawsuit, Clinton authorized military attacks on bin Laden in order to assassinate him. As we know, the attacks failed, and Clinton never authorized any other attacks. We know that shortly after Clinton tried to kill bin Laden, the 2001-09-11 plot against the US was hatched and the began recruiting people to go to the US, enter flight schools, and learn how to fly a jumbo jet that could be hijacked. Most probably, bin Laden figured that if the US was going to kill him it was only a matter of time before they seceded (just barely missed the first time), and bin Laden would try and kill as many Americans as possible before that happened.

The people recruited to carry out the plot (about 15 IIRC) were from Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The Saudi recruits were apparently political enemies of the Kingdom and had probably been treated very poorly or even tortured by the Saudi government (which trreatment of political enemies appears to be the norm in that part of the world). They blamed the US for that, mainly because in Islamic culture it is not permissible to blame other Muslims if you can blame someone else who is not Muslim. The US was very friendly with the Saudi government, especially since Saudi Arabia did not pose a threat to any other countries in the area, and seemed content to produce oil and get rich, as opposed to others who wanted to attack other countries and cause instability in the Middle East.

The other group was from Egypt. They were also political opponents of the various regimes in Egypt from Anwar Sadat until the present day. These regimes have been known to torture political enemies, or other otherwise exercised questionable human rights policies. In addition, the US funds Egypt to the tune of several billion US dollars per year. This goes back to the Camp David Accord President Carter got Israel and Egypt to agree to peace, and the US has been giving both Israel and Egypt billions each year to be not be at war with each other as part of that agreement. Of course, if the US had not given Egypt billions of dollars each year (and only gave money to Israel) then Muslims would say that the US hates Muslims. In this case, the 9/11 perpetrators from Egypt hated their government and blamed the US for subsidizing it and they believed that the money from the US allowed them to stay in power.

The reason that Bill Clinton was forced to give a deposition in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case, is that he had shown a pattern of behavior of sexually exploiting women in government who worked under him (figuratively). In the US, sexual harassment in the workplace is a serious charge. In that time frame (late 1990's) the Monica Lewinsky scandal had come to light (Lewinsky was a White House intern) and it had been revealed that Lewinsky had given Clinton a BJ in the White House and that some of Bill's evidence was still on Lewinsky's dress she wore that day even though incident happened some time before that, and that the dress was never cleaned, but stored in a protective plastic bag. The special prosecutor seized the dress as evidence.

The inclusion of the Lewinsky scandal in the Paula Jones law suit gave credibility to her lawsuit (pattern of behavior) and a judge ruled that Clinton must give a sworn legal deposition under oath in the case. Clinton's deposition testimony was later used to impeach him for perjury, and also used against him in a separate legal case in which he lost his license to practice law for 5 years. As previously mentioned, the deposition was conducted on the same day the US military attempted to kill Osama bin Laden, based on Clinton's approval of the attack just hours before it occurred. Many believe that Clinton authorized the attack in order to divert attention from the legal deposition that he was forced to give that same day in a location outside of the White House (Clinton never authorized any further attacks against bin Laden).

So the reason why 9/11 happened, is that Monica never had her dress cleaned after Bill's "shot heard around the world."


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Vicotnik wrote:
If reducing terrorism was a real goal, then the US would have acted very differently. What's currently being done is actually increasing the terror risk. Everyone knows that, including the US intelligence.

What should have been done? And what should be done now? Difficult questions, but believing still that you are actually working on reducing the terror threat to the US is not helping.

The initial reaction was to make certain it did not happen again by finding those responsible and bringing them to justice, or killing them if they could not be captured alive.

Whether or not the US did the right things along the way is certainly debatable, but your statement that "If reducing terrorism was a real goal, then the US would have acted very differently" is sheer stupidity.


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m0002a wrote:
By that time, bin Laden was extremely upset that the US military was remaining on Saudi soil."


It was kind of a rhetorical question really. I'm sure most reasonably well read people know the story.
Your explanation could have stopped after the line quoted above.

However, personally I believe that the US did the right thing by going into Kuwait in the first Gulf War and remaining in the Middle East afterwards. Going into Iraq for a second time to get Saddam was IMHO actually a display of intent and capability and served as a warning to other regimes. In that respect it had some strategic value. It was dressed up for the public by spurious references to WMD and "liberating" the Iraqi people from a tyrannical dictator.
(BTW I completely agree with your earlier comment about the British partitioning of Iraq.)
Unfortunately when at war one has to accept that you will take some casualties as well as inflicting them on the enemy. 9-11 was a price paid for protecting strategic assets in the Middle East. The Western world must accept that if they want the oil to flow it will have to be paid for with blood as well as treasure. Such has been the way of the world for a thousand years.
Luckily for the rest of the Western World, American interests broadly align with our own interests so it follows that the American actions are, in the long term, in Europe's interests as well - at least from the point of view of an energy consuming capitalist society.

Having said that, it does not imply that I personally like the way the world is now...


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m0002a wrote:
Whether or not the US did the right things along the way is certainly debatable, but your statement that "If reducing terrorism was a real goal, then the US would have acted very differently" is sheer stupidity.

How do you mean, sheer stupidity?

My point is that it was known beforehand that invading Afghanistan and Iraq would increase the terror threat to the US. I can see why invading Afghanistan to destroy the hideouts of Al-Qaeda would have a point. But that's more retaliation than a solution to the terror problem. Fighting terror gives you more terror. I'm not saying you should negotiate with these people, but rather that looking at the real grievances would be more productive rather than claiming that they "hate our freedom" and go to war.

m0002a wrote:
Osama bin Laden was at one time a close friend of the US as result of America providing Afghanistan support against the Russian invasion in the 1980s. But in 1991, when the coalition forces (led by the US) ejected Iraq from Kuwait, bin Laden was developing anxiety attacks about Western infidels being on Arab soil. After the war, Saudi Arabia asked the US stay on Saudi soil with some air force bases in the desert to protect Saudi Arabia from possible attack by Iraq. By that time, bin Laden was extremely upset that the US military was remaining on Saudi soil. He protested so much, that the Saudi government permanently kicked him out of Saudi Arabia and revoked his passport. After that time, Osama bin Laden then was involved in various plots to attack the US military in some Mideast locations such as the attack on the USS Cole.

The point to be made here is that Saudi Arabia is a dictatorship supported by the US. When you say Saudi Arabia did this, Saudi Arabia did that, it would be more accurate to say the leadership or Saudi Arabia did this or that. You don't have to like it, but you should understand that there are some very desperate people that will use force in an effort to get back at the US for its foreign policies, including having troops ("infidels") in their holy land. By fighting these kinds of things with force, with the collateral damage that will inevitable follow, you are encouraging more young confused people to join them.
More benign efforts would probably yield better results, but would not achieve the imperialistic goals of the US so what we get is war.

I think that all this is understood but rather that going about it in some other way isn't an option. The US will try to secure the remaining resources on the planet, with military force. It's in the national interest of the US and it can be done so it is being done.

What would happen if the US would draw back its military personnel from Saudi Arabia? Why is that not an option? What's the current reason for US presence in Saudi Arabia? Stability? Would that not be possible to achieve in some other way with less side effects?

m0002a wrote:
The Saudi recruits were apparently political enemies of the Kingdom and had probably been treated very poorly or even tortured by the Saudi government (which trreatment of political enemies appears to be the norm in that part of the world). They blamed the US for that, mainly because in Islamic culture it is not permissible to blame other Muslims if you can blame someone else who is not Muslim.

That's the norm in any part of the world where the people in control can get away with it. It's human behavior and happens everywhere, even in your own country (but not to that extreme certainly). The US is the main power that enables this in the case of Saudi Arabia, so blaming the US is not irrational.

Please give a source to the claim that non-Muslims should be blamed rather than Muslims according to Islamic culture. I hadn't heard that before.

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Vicotnik wrote:
The US will try to secure the remaining resources on the planet, with military force. It's in the national interest of the US and it can be done so it is being done.


Exactly right.


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judge56988 wrote:
m0002a wrote:
By that time, bin Laden was extremely upset that the US military was remaining on Saudi soil."


It was kind of a rhetorical question really. I'm sure most reasonably well read people know the story.
Your explanation could have stopped after the line quoted above.

I disagree, because I don' think that bin Laden would have concocted such a plan as 9/11 unless Clinton had tried to assassinate him (and failed, and never tried again).

judge56988 wrote:
However, personally I believe that the US did the right thing by going into Kuwait in the first Gulf War and remaining in the Middle East afterwards. Going into Iraq for a second time to get Saddam was IMHO actually a display of intent and capability and served as a warning to other regimes. In that respect it had some strategic value. It was dressed up for the public by spurious references to WMD and "liberating" the Iraqi people from a tyrannical dictator.
(BTW I completely agree with your earlier comment about the British partitioning of Iraq.)

It has been well documented that:

1) Saddam Husein wanted everyone to believe he had WMD, even if he did not have any at the time of the US invasion. Saddam prevented the UN inspectors from doing their job to verify this, and Saddam evicted the inspectors from Iraq shortly before the US invasion.
2) Iraq at one time had WMD and had at one time a program to produce a nuclear bomb (until destroyed by Israel in an air attack).
3) George Bush thought that Iraq had WMD as evidenced by Bob Woodwards book:

Quote:
Tenet and his top deputy, John McLaughlin, went to the White House to brief Bush and Cheney on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, Woodward reports.

The president, unimpressed by the presentation of satellite photographs and intercepts, pressed Tenet and McLaughlin, saying their information would not "convince Joe Public" and asking Tenet, "This is the best we've got?" Woodward reports.

According to Woodward, Tenet reassured the president that "it's a slam dunk case" that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.

In his CBS interview, Woodward said he "asked the president about this, and he said it was very important to have the CIA director, 'slam-dunk' is as I interpreted it, a sure thing, guaranteed." http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/04/ ... ward.book/


judge56988 wrote:
Unfortunately when at war one has to accept that you will take some casualties as well as inflicting them on the enemy. 9-11 was a price paid for protecting strategic assets in the Middle East. The Western world must accept that if they want the oil to flow it will have to be paid for with blood as well as treasure. Such has been the way of the world for a thousand years.
Luckily for the rest of the Western World, American interests broadly align with our own interests so it follows that the American actions are, in the long term, in Europe's interests as well - at least from the point of view of an energy consuming capitalist society.

Having said that, it does not imply that I personally like the way the world is now...

I wasn't aware that socialist countries are not energy consuming societies.

The US strategic goal in the Middle East is to help prevent the region from engaging in war with each other (including Israel) and blowing themselves up, which besides the issue of oil, has other implications on the rest of the world since Israel (at least) has nuclear weapons and would probably use them if it came down to their survival.

I don't think Bush would have invaded Iraq if he had known what he knows today, although in the long run things may turn out better for Iraq and the region than it sometimes appears. But the cost to the US was far too high in blood and money.

The war in Afghanistan is another matter, and even Obama supported that war from the beginning, but as it turns out it is now a much bigger problem than Iraq, and US (and coalition) casualties are very high and increasing. There does not seem to be a good solution in sight right now.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 7:17 am 
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Vicotnik wrote:
How do you mean, sheer stupidity?

My point is that it was known beforehand that invading Afghanistan and Iraq would increase the terror threat to the US. I can see why invading Afghanistan to destroy the hideouts of Al-Qaeda would have a point. But that's more retaliation than a solution to the terror problem. Fighting terror gives you more terror. I'm not saying you should negotiate with these people, but rather that looking at the real grievances would be more productive rather than claiming that they "hate our freedom" and go to war.

Retaliation can act as a deterrent, but the main goal was to capture those who committed the terrorism and to prevent the likelihood of it happening again. This does not mean in retrospect that the invasion of Iraq was a good idea, or that it was executed well.

The strategy of appeasement, and asking forgiveness from one's enemies (like France tried with Hitler) does not often work and Americans do not think that was appropriate after 9/11.

One could speculate or argue about this forever, but I don't think anyone can say that terrorism would have stopped if the US had not retaliated. At least some evidence suggests that the terrorist became emboldened by 9/11, and not just satisfied with the status quo.

Vicotnik wrote:
The point to be made here is that Saudi Arabia is a dictatorship supported by the US. When you say Saudi Arabia did this, Saudi Arabia did that, it would be more accurate to say the leadership or Saudi Arabia did this or that. You don't have to like it, but you should understand that there are some very desperate people that will use force in an effort to get back at the US for its foreign policies, including having troops ("infidels") in their holy land. By fighting these kinds of things with force, with the collateral damage that will inevitable follow, you are encouraging more young confused people to join them.
More benign efforts would probably yield better results, but would not achieve the imperialistic goals of the US so what we get is war.

I think that all this is understood but rather that going about it in some other way isn't an option. The US will try to secure the remaining resources on the planet, with military force. It's in the national interest of the US and it can be done so it is being done.

What would happen if the US would draw back its military personnel from Saudi Arabia? Why is that not an option? What's the current reason for US presence in Saudi Arabia? Stability? Would that not be possible to achieve in some other way with less side effects?

Whether or not Saudi Arabia is a Kingdom (dictatorship) or a democracy is not the doing of the US. Just because the US is friendly with other countries does not mean we are willing to intervene in their internal affairs so long as they do not threaten other nations. I don't know of a single European nation that did not support the government of Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not need US "support" to survive. If the US stopped supporting any Arab nation, they would be accused of only supporting Israel.

The US has been criticized in the past for trying force democracy on other countries through military means. But when the US tries to let countries decide for themselves how to conduct their own internal affairs, they are criticized by the same people for supposedly "supporting" dictatorships. You can't have it both ways. And the idea that if the US was not friendly to the government of Saudi Arabia (for whatever reason) that it would any impact on the ability of the Saudi government to survive is ridiculous. The only difference is that the Saudi's would buy fighter jets from France or Russia instead of the US (which is probably your main motivation for your comments).

In actuality, the US has done a significant number of things to reform Saudi society, far more than any other country. At the strong urging of the US, women's rights have improved, radicalism in schools has been curtailed, and they now have elections (even if it is mainly for an advisory body).

Also, your claim that the majority of people in Saudi Arabia don't support the kingdom is false. although there are obviously those who don't. If you feel so strongly about the illegitimacy of the Saudi Kingdom, then maybe you should urge the French government to invade Saudi Arabia and straighten them out, or at least withhold diplomatic relations between France and Saudi Arabia. Why is the US required to do this and no one else?

The US cannot solve, or be responsible for, every problem or every internal injustice that exists in other countries throughout the world. The US tries to limit itself to situations were one country threatens another and where war may break out between them, and in the case of terrorism, where the US is directly threatened by attack (or at least thinks it is).


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 7:35 am 
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m0002a wrote:
The US has been criticized in the past for trying force democracy on other countries through military means. But when the US tries to let countries decide for themselves how to conduct their own internal affairs, they are criticized by the same people for supposedly "supporting" dictatorships. You can't have it both ways.

I'm of the opinion that force should only be used as a last resort. And I don't know of any critique regarding US trying to promote democracy in other countries. The critique is rather that the US is using that as a transparent excuse for its actions. The world is not fooled.

m0002a wrote:
Also, your claim that the majority of people in Saudi Arabia don't support the kingdom is false. although there are obviously those who don't. If you feel so strongly about the illegitimacy of the Saudi Kingdom, then maybe you should urge the French government to invade Saudi Arabia and straighten them out, or at least withhold diplomatic relations between France and Saudi Arabia. Why is the US required to do this and no one else?

Again, my criticism is not for US and US alone. Anyone with troops all over the place is to blame. Right now that's the US. In the past it was mostly Britain and France in many places.
No-one should invade Saudi Arabia and everyone should keep the diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia (or any dictatorship) on a level that reflects that we do not accept that form of government. Not saying that we should have no diplomatic relations with these countries at all. The US should have diplomatic relations with Cuba and Iran for example.

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frenchie wrote:
m0002a wrote:
Yes those French are very smart, but don't expect to ever be able to fool the Americans again. Never.

Nobody fooled anybody. France did loose a battle in WWII, that is a fact. Other countries came to help and we are very grateful they did. Now the war is over and we're moving on.
You owed us one anyways ;) Sorry, I couldn't resist :)


Don't be sorry, we did owe you one. In fact as long as America exists as a free and independent state it will owe that existence to France.

Sure, you really weren't helping us out because of some sort of benevolent reason - you really just wanted to stick it to jolly old England, but any motivation is better than none!


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 7:49 am 
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[quote="m0002a"]
As just one example, Iraq should really be 3 different countries (Shites, Suni, Kurds) but the British created an artificial nation that has wrecked havoc on world.

[i]Ottoman rule over Iraq lasted until World War I when the Ottomans sided with Germany and the Central Powers. In the Mesopotamian campaign against the Central Powers, British forces invaded the country and suffered a major defeat at the hands of the Turkish army during the Siege of Kut (1915–16). After the war the Ottoman Empire was divided up, and the British Mandate of Mesopotamia was established by League of Nations mandate. Britain imposed a HÄ


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 9:00 am 
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m0002a wrote:
judge56988 wrote:
That's very true but why exactly do you think the terrorists did what they did?


Osama bin Laden was at one time a close friend of the US as result of America providing Afghanistan support against the Russian invasion in the 1980s. But in 1991, when the coalition forces (led by the US) ejected Iraq from Kuwait, bin Laden was developing anxiety attacks about Western infidels being on Arab soil.


Um, not quite. The question is why Osama Bin Laden suddenly wanted our heads, and it has nothing to do with Clinton getting a blowjob on the white house lawn. I find as much legitimacy in that statement as you likely do in Cheney's Halliburton connection to the current events in Iraq.

As you already pointed out, Osama was our best friend in that he was the enemy of our enemy in Afghanistan. We were funding the holy hell out of him (pun definitely intended) while he fronted our war against Communist expansion in Afghanistan. He was quite happy to take the millions of USD from us to fund the expansion of his religious beliefs.

It wasn't until we cut him off economically (when Russia pulled out) that two things happened:

1. He suddenly developed a hatred of Americans when he realized we didn't really care about him or his movement and that he was really just a pawn in our little party

2. Poppy became the primary cash crop of Afghanistan

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium_prod ... fghanistan

But again, we ALL digress as this thread is supposed to be about Hugo Chavez and the "liberation" of South America.


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m0002a wrote:
judge56988 wrote:
Unfortunately when at war one has to accept that you will take some casualties as well as inflicting them on the enemy. 9-11 was a price paid for protecting strategic assets in the Middle East. The Western world must accept that if they want the oil to flow it will have to be paid for with blood as well as treasure. Such has been the way of the world for a thousand years.
Luckily for the rest of the Western World, American interests broadly align with our own interests so it follows that the American actions are, in the long term, in Europe's interests as well - at least from the point of view of an energy consuming capitalist society.

Having said that, it does not imply that I personally like the way the world is now...

I wasn't aware that socialist countries are not energy consuming societies.



Where did I say that?

If you think the phrase "energy consuming capitalist countries" implies that non-capitalist countries or even socialist countries are not energy consuming then you are wrongly interpreting the words.
If for example I used the phrase "meat eating men" that would not imply that women did not eat meat would it?


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judge56988 wrote:
Where did I say that?

If you think the phrase "energy consuming capitalist countries" implies that non-capitalist countries or even socialist countries are not energy consuming then you are wrongly interpreting the words.
If for example I used the phrase "meat eating men" that would not imply that women did not eat meat would it?

The term "men" is often used as a generic one meaning humans, which obviously includes women. So I don't think that is a good example. If you want to edit your original post for clarity, then you are free to do that.


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psyopper wrote:
Um, not quite. The question is why Osama Bin Laden suddenly wanted our heads, and it has nothing to do with Clinton getting a blowjob on the white house lawn. I find as much legitimacy in that statement as you likely do in Cheney's Halliburton connection to the current events in Iraq.

What I said is the Osama bin Laden hatched the 9/11 plot soon after the US launched a cruise missle attacks on his compund in an attempt kill him, missing him by just a few hours. I already explained why Clinton finally approved such an attack on bin Laden, which was not followed up with other attacks from the US military.


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Right - you are laying the destruction of the WTC and the loss of about 12,000 American and Coalition lives (and countless Iraqi and Afghani lives) on what dribbled down Monica Lewinski's chin. More specifically, you are saying that the 9/11 plot is a retaliatory strike against the US for bombing Bin Laden, which your purport was ordered by Clinton as a distraction during his questioning about getting a blow job from Monica, which became an issue simply because Monica is a spitter, not a swallower, and not a very good spitter at that.

Seriously? This is has as much merit as blaming the Bush/Cheney administration for intentionally demolishing the WTC on 9/11 to push the US into a protracted "War Against Terror" to boost their investments in the military-industrial complex.

By the way - neither of the above really work for the cause of 9/11.

And it still doesn't tell us how you feel about Hugo Chavez and the "liberation" of South America.

m0002a wrote:
psyopper wrote:
Um, not quite. The question is why Osama Bin Laden suddenly wanted our heads, and it has nothing to do with Clinton getting a blowjob on the white house lawn. I find as much legitimacy in that statement as you likely do in Cheney's Halliburton connection to the current events in Iraq.

What I said is the Osama bin Laden hatched the 9/11 plot soon after the US launched a cruise missle attacks on his compund in an attempt kill him, missing him by just a few hours. I already explained why Clinton finally approved such an attack on bin Laden, which was not followed up with other attacks from the US military.


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psyopper wrote:
Right - you are laying the destruction of the WTC and the loss of about 12,000 American and Coalition lives (and countless Iraqi and Afghani lives) on what dribbled down Monica Lewinski's chin. More specifically, you are saying that the 9/11 plot is a retaliatory strike against the US for bombing Bin Laden, which your purport was ordered by Clinton as a distraction during his questioning about getting a blow job from Monica, which became an issue simply because Monica is a spitter, not a swallower, and not a very good spitter at that.

Seriously? This is has as much merit as blaming the Bush/Cheney administration for intentionally demolishing the WTC on 9/11 to push the US into a protracted "War Against Terror" to boost their investments in the military-industrial complex.

By the way - neither of the above really work for the cause of 9/11.

And it still doesn't tell us how you feel about Hugo Chavez and the "liberation" of South America.

I probably should not go here, but it is not clear whether Monica spit. More likely it was combo BJ and HJ at the end.

I don't know about you, but I think bin Laden's actions (re 9/11) were fairly predictable after the assassination attempt by the US. I probably would have done the same if I were him.

The only other thing you would have to believe is that Clinton ordered the air strike against bin Laden to divert attention away from his grand jury testimony that day. Given that Clinton only ordered an air strike against bin Laden that one time (I believe in two locations) and never tried again, I don't think it is a stretch to believe the grand jury testimony and the air strikes were connected.

One other thing happened that was necessary. Monica had to keep her soiled dress without getting it cleaned. Without that evidence (seized by the special prosecutor), I doubt anyone would have taken the perjury charges against Clinton seriously and the grand jury probably would never have subpoenaed Clinton.

I am not saying that all these things are the underlying cause of 9/11, but they had to have happened in order for events to unfold they way they did.


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m0002a wrote:
judge56988 wrote:
Where did I say that?

If you think the phrase "energy consuming capitalist countries" implies that non-capitalist countries or even socialist countries are not energy consuming then you are wrongly interpreting the words.
If for example I used the phrase "meat eating men" that would not imply that women did not eat meat would it?

The term "men" is often used as a generic one meaning humans, which obviously includes women. So I don't think that is a good example. If you want to edit your original post for clarity, then you are free to do that.


No - the term "men" has a very specific meaning. The word used for a group of humans of both sexes is "people". The term "men and women" is also commonly used. If you referred to "American men" you would be specifically excluding the women of America in that set of people.
Your argument is invalid and is merely a means to attempt to justify your smart-arsed sarcastic reply to my earlier post containing the phrase "energy consuming capitalist countries"; how you can validly infer from that statement that any non-capitalist country is not energy consuming is beyond me.
Try another example - does the phrase "red petrol engined cars" imply that diesel engined cars are not red?


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